Every Democrat in America Should Support Medicare for All

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The New York Daily News

Every Democrat in America Should Support Medicare for All

 More than 110 Democrats in the House are currently co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill created by Congressman John Conyers. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)

In a recent poll from the health insurance industry, only 8% of Americans actually want the United States Senate to pass the terrible Trumpcare bill, also known as the Affordable Health Care Act, that the House passed a few weeks ago.

That's about as bad as it gets — not just for a health care poll, but for anything. Have you ever seen a movie on Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 8%? Hell, even the new Baywatch movie has a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, there's not a major movie out in theaters right now with a Rotten Tomatoes score of less than 10%. Nobody likes Trumpcare. Tens of millions of everyday people will lose their health insurance, rates will skyrocket for America's seniors, and pre-existing conditions will become a problem again.

Republicans, so hell-bent on destroying Obamacare for the past eight years, never really bothered to do the hard work of coming up with a better plan that lowers costs and insures more people. They've got nothing. In fact, what they are proposing is worse than nothing.

So it's great that Democrats are blasting it every chance they get, but constantly criticizing it isn't enough. We have a health care crisis in America. Everyday people are struggling to afford good coverage, and premiums and co-pays are kicking our butts. That's why smart, compassionate local Democrats across the country aren't just blasting Trumpcare, they are proposing Medicare for All.

With a groundswell of grassroots support from unions like National Nurses United, the California State Senate has passed a Medicare for All bill that is now awaiting a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown. An astounding 70% of Californians, including 53% of Republicans there, support the bill. Other polls show 60% of all Americans now support health care coverage for all Americans. That's what this country wants — not Trumpcare.

Every single Democrat in the country would be smart to divert at least half of their energy away from blasting Trumpcare to fighting for Medicare for All. If it becomes law in California, that will change the game for the entire country. For the third year in a row, a similar Medicare for All bill has passed the New York State Assembly. Nevada is getting closer to its own plan to open up Medicare for All there.

Many wealthy developed nations in the world have universal health care with 100% enrollment. We can have that. We should have that. And don't believe the lie about how we can't afford universal health care — no nation in the world spends more money on health care and prescription drugs than we do right now. The United States spends nearly 20% of its entire GDP on health care — also the highest rate in the developed world.

Now is the time to propose bold solutions. Donald Trump and every single conservative who supports him should be roundly criticized, but Americans need hope. Americans don't just need a villain to fight against, they need a cause to fight for — and Medicare for All can and should be a principled part of that fight.

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More than 110 Democrats in the House are currently co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill created by Congressman John Conyers. That's the most ever to support Medicare for All in the House, and represents a majority of 193 members of the House Democratic Caucus, but it begs the question — what about the other Democrats in the House who aren't yet on record as supporting Medicare for All? What are they waiting on? And what about the Democrats in the Senate?

I'd like to see how much money the Democrats who are holding out their support for Medicare for All are receiving from the health insurance and prescription drug industries and lobbies. The reform is about as popular as it gets among rank and file Democrats — so the lack of support from some elected officials is puzzling at best.

As Trump's approval ratings continue to tank and the country unites around our desire to see him leave office, we must use this rare moment in time where people are deeply hungry for systemic change to make our fight not just about personalities, but about policies. Medicare for All is the biggest, boldest, best idea we've got right now. Rallying behind it just makes sense.

Shaun King

Shaun King is a columnist for the New York Daily News. Follow on Twitter: @ShaunKing

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